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My deadline for making a decision about my uni offers is May 4th. As it stands, I'm going to put Cambridge as my firm. It's m insurance that I'm more confused about. I've pretty much ruled out Leeds and KCL because I don't really like the course at Leeds and I don't want to live in London. So that leaves Durham and Cardiff.

[For those reading this that may not understand the way you apply to university in the UK, you apply to five unis, they give you an offer or a rejection, then if you hold two or more offers you pick one as your Firm and one as your Insurance, declining any others. Then when you get your exam results in August if you have met the conditions of your Firm, you go there. If you have not met the conditions of your Firm but you have of your Insurance, you go there. If you have not met either of them, you can go into Clearing, where you scramble to get any spare places.]

The thing is, I went to Durham on Monday and the place is gorgeous, really lovely, and the course is really good; mainly compulsory in the first year with one option that can be taken from inside or outside the department. Its such a wonderful place. I didn't get into the college I applied for though, I got pooled to one quite far out; I was concerned about this, but after visiting the area I feel generally much more positive about the whole place. The main problem is though, that Durham is far more a contender for Firm than for Insurance. It's hard to explain, but it is really very similar to Cambridge, and it is asking for AAB rather than AAA. There was a time, a couple of months ago I suppose, when I was reall not sure I even wanted to go to Cambridge at all, and I thought maybe Durham would be a possible alternative.

So. Durham is a possible Insurance to Cambridge, because its offer is lower than Cambridge's, but only by one grade. So, if I went for Cambridge/Durham [not a ship, not a ticket... or is it?] and didn't get AAB I would go into clearing, or reapply all over again next year. And if I missed AAB but not one of my other offers that I declined, that would be rather rubbish, to say the least.

Whereas my other option is Cardiff. Cardiff is a more ordinary university, less respected than Cambridge or Duham, and it isn't collegiate or particularly old. It isn't really gorgeous, its pretty normal, a touch grotty in places, accomodation seems alright. It's normal. The course has more options in the first year, it's apparently known particularly for it Theology department, particularly its Eastern religions classes. And, you can do a whole third of the first year outside the department, which is quite cool, a bit like a minor I guess. I would probably pick up credits in Law, and that might help me later. Cardiff is such a lovely city though, pretty and Welsh, big and bus but friendly and safe and nice. And, y'know, the film Doctor Who and Torchwood there :D Eve Myles told me to go there.

More importantly though, the've given me a really low offer, BBC or 280 points.

I already have that.

So, if I put down Cardiff as my Insurance, I am totally safe from clearing/the possibility of crashing and burning and never going to uni anywhere, because if I get AAA I go to Cambridge and if I get anthing lower I go to Cardiff. I can't not get into it. And maybe it would relax me to know that these life changing exams, the most important exams I've ever faced [except possibly last years, I guess. And next years, of course] don't carry whether I'll go to uni at all, only whether I'll go to Cambridge.

I just, Insurance choices are meant to be your Insurance. I am totally capable of getting AAA if I work really really really hard. Its not impossible. But, if I miss it at all, I don't know that I should bet I would onl miss it by one grade. Because I have what amounts to an unconditional offer from Cardiff, and if I throw it away and then get ABB I am screwed. And, it would be lousy to be screwed with ABB because that is what I need for 3 of my 5 offers. It's perfectly respectable.

And so, whenever I think this, I think, It's probably sensible to go for Cambridge/Cardiff like I've been saying all along.

And the part of me that fell so in love with Durham wails inside me.


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the camelion Poet

July 2013



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